There is no link at this stage between Imam Abdelbaki Es Satty, considered by the Spanish authorities as the architect of the terror attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils, and the attacks perpetrated on 22 March 2016, in Brussels and Zaventem, Belgium’s Office of the Public Prosecutor indicated on Monday. It appeared on Sunday that the man, of Moroccan origin, stayed in Vilvorde between January and March 2016 and wanted to offer his services at a local mosque. “The imam did, in fact, stay in Belgium, but he was not known to the judicial authorities,” the spokesman of the Office of the Public Prosecutor, Thierry Werts, said.
The Federal Office launched an investigation in the wake of the Barcelona attack, but it’s focus was the Belgian victim of the attack. Since he came from Tongres, the investigation has been handed over to the Federal Judicial Police in Anvers. “The aim is to facilitate cooperation and the exchange of information on the victims with the Spanish judicial authorities,” Werts explained.
The Barcelona attack, in which a truck plowed into dozens of people on Las Ramblas, a pedestrian mall, claimed 13 lives and wounded dozens of others. A few hours later, five terrorists who tried to repeat the operation on the promenade of the seaside town of Cambrils were shot dead by police.
The two attacks, which claimed a total of 15 lives and injured more than 100 people, were not claimed by the Islamic State terror group.